05/11/2008

Syndication takes a holographic view of company

A North Wales company at the forefront of animated holographic technology has received £500,000 investment from xénos, the Wales Business Angel Network, Finance Wales and the Welsh Assembly Government.


View Holographics Ltd of Conwy is developing specialist printing technology capable of producing large-scale holographic images for use in the global advertising, architecture and business-to-business markets and will use the investment to fund the first phase of this development project. The investment includes £250,000 equity syndicated from several private individuals, including four xénos business angels and Finance Wales. The Welsh Assembly Government has awarded a £250,000 grant to the company through its SMARTCymru innovation programme.

View Holographics has already secured some significant clients including Saatchi and Saatchi and Shell. It recently completed work for the National Museum of Wales which involved producing several holograms from historic artefacts which needed to be kept out of public viewing for their own protection. The holograms will allow visitors to view virtual 3D versions of the artefacts.

Stewart Jones, who has been involved in the commercialisation of technology for a number of years and helped develop the Sony Playstation™ ‘Buzz’ range of games, established the company along with fellow directors, Simon Cotton and Richard Melling. “We’ve been working on the development of printing technologies that will allow us to produce much larger and animated holograms than previously possible. Holography offers so much potential for a wide range of applications, from marketing and advertising through to architectural opportunities. This opens up a massive global market,” he said. “In order to reach that market we needed additional funding and the equity investment from the xénos business angels and Finance Wales and the £250,000 SMARTCymru grant will provide the injection to take the business to the next level.”

Retail window displays, outdoor advertising at bus shelters, tube stations and cinemas and point of sale units are among some of the products the company is developing. View Holographics is working closely with Technium OpTIC at St Asaph, Denbighshire, in developing and exploiting the technology.

Nick Bradley, xénos regional manager for North Wales, said: “View Holographics is pioneering technology that has enormous global potential. The syndication of investors, including business angels and Finance Wales, will ensure the company can now fully exploit this technology and maximise growth opportunities.”

Ieuan Wyn Jones, Minister for the Economy and Transport, said the SMARTCymru support from the Assembly was designed to help businesses at different stages of their development, from early stage technical and commercial feasibility studies right through to exploiting and marketing a new product. We want to help young technology businesses develop and commercialise their ideas."

Funding from the Assembly Government can help innovative technology companies like View Holographics take their product to the next stage of development. In this instance funding was provided for industrial research to establish proof of concept and to enable the company to take that concept to the pre-competitive development stage or prototype level.

“I am also pleased that View Holographics is benefiting from the technology support network within OpTIC Technium and from working alongside like minded companies developing new and innovative products," said Ieuan Wyn Jones.